Oven Stew

In which I am freezing.

It has been so cold!  My house is having trouble keeping up with the temperatures, or at least the room with the thermostat is.  Let me just take a second to complain about flawed logic with thermostat planning.  If you put a thermostat in the room that contains the fireplace, that room will get nice and toasty and your thermostat will say that the temperature of the house is comfortable.  Your body will probably feel otherwise if you take a step outside of the room that is being heated by the fireplace.  Likewise, if your thermostat is in a room with a ton of possibly leaky windows, the temperature of the room registers as colder than it should be.  Then your furnace runs continuously and the rest of the house is warmer than you’d like, even though the thermostat is not showing that.  On a related note, I think I need to reconsider the placement of my thermostat.DSCN3443

These are the sorts of days where hibernation makes sense.  Of course there are a thousand projects I could be doing, but it just seems like a lot of effort to get moving.  It’s the sort of day where I just want dinner to cook itself without a lot of intervention from me.  As I was pouring over recipes, I found a recipe for Oven Stew.  It is the perfect recipe for frigid, lazy days.  DSCN3450I made this recipe while my son had a friend over. His friend saw the onion on my cutting board and said, “Is that an onion?  I like onions.”

“Like raw onions?” I asked.

“Any kind of onion.” He stated.

“Like on something…or….?” I questioned, confused.

“Like anything.  Chopped up in pieces.  Can I have some?”

“Like for a snack?”  I queried, still trying to figure this kid out.

“Yeah, like 50 of them.”

“Um…I’m cutting up cheese and sausage for you guys.”  During this whole thing, I was trying to decide if this kid was for real.  We’ve all heard about those old men that will eat onions like apples after they finish their braunschweiger and Limburger sandwiches, but a kid?!?

He is an awesome kid, even if I was a little surprised by his request.

I ended up not giving them onions as a snack and just put the onion into my oven stew.  When his mom came to pick him up later, she commented on how good the house smelled. “It’s my great-grandma’s recipe.” I replied.  (But then again, it seems like they all are these days.)DSCN3451

This recipe does not say to add water to the pan.  Do it anyway.  It’s not stew without the water.  It also doesn’t call for tossing the beef cubes with flour and browning them before adding them to the pan.  Do that also.  It just makes for deeper flavors in the stew.

Have you ever had oven stew?  It is incredible and easy.  Once you are done putting everything into the pot, you are done.  You can just walk away.  That makes this an ideal recipe for the crockpot if the temperature outside isn’t so cold that you want your oven on all day to try to warm up the house.

We ate ours with homemade bread.  But you do you and eat it with whatever you want.

Oven Stew

Oven Stew

1 1/2 pounds of beef cut into cubes
1 cup chopped celery
1 can of tomatoes
1 TB sugar
6 carrots, cut
2 TB minute tapioca
1 large onion, sliced
4 medium potatoes, quartered
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients well in pan or kettle with tight fitting cover.  Bake at 250°.  Do not disturb while baking.